Thanks to our partner, Wilkes Community College, 26 new oral history recordings are now available on our website. Thanks to our colleagues in the Southern Folklife Collection, these audio materials were digitized utilizing funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
These oral histories all pertain to the history and citizens of Wilkes County. Topics discussed in the recordings include the history of mills, silvering mirrors, personal stories and family histories, moonshining, fur trading, education, medicine and pharmaceuticals, Fort Defiance restoration, racecar drivers, musicians, and more.
One particularly interesting recording is Cranor Kilby’s interview. In it, he discusses his early life including the first time he made money performing, his favorite instruments, music in his early years, and keeping community songs alive. According to Kilby, there are several songs which seemed to have disappeared over the years. Through his performance of these songs, he keeps them alive for the next generation of North Carolinians and Wilkes County citizens. In the second half of his interview he performs several songs, including “Groundhog,” “Sadie,” and “Turkey Buzzard.”
To learn more about Wilkes Community College, please visit their website.
To listen to more oral histories, please click here.
To view more audiovisual materials, please visit our North Carolina Sights and Sounds collection.